By Clyde Hughes | AC JosepH Media
RIVERTON – New Jersey State Sen. Troy Singleton embodied the spirit of Juneteenth Saturday in moving comments at the Palmyra Riverton Juneteenth Celebration at Riverton Park.
The second annual event started out at the Palmyra Community Center for an E-Waste event where people could turn in discarded electronics and then moved to Riverton Park for community celebration.
In a video of the speech provided to Front Runner New Jersey.com by organizers, the four-term legislator called on attendees to actively push for equality and justice, even though it may lead to difficult conversations and laying out hard truths.
“You can’t heal without accountability,” Singleton told the attendees. “You can’t heal without having hard conversations. All of us here today, whether you share the same pigment or share the same intention in your heart and love for one another, it’s encumbent on us to be leaders in that conversation. It’s difficult. It’s hard to talk about race. What we have to do is be intentional in talking through those difficult conversations so we can move to a brighter tomorrow.”
Singleton said one of the things the dark days of slavery taught that through their perseverance, hope always existed.
“Hope is what has carried us through so many trying times in our country,” Singleton said. “For us today on this Juneteenth, it is important for us to recognize that we can go forward and more forward. It takes all of us to do that.”
Singleton said it warmed his hear to see the diversity of people of all ages and races at Riverton Park celebrating the end of slavery. He said he was especially pleased to see “our young folks here at the volunteer tables and our young kids running around. It tells me that a brighter tomorrow is within our grasp. But each and every one of us has to have ownership and create a stake in it to make it happen.
“What matters to me more than anything else is that all of us have the ability to come together today in the celebration of independence, a celebration of freedom, recognizing the long, arduous road to true equality. We cannot lose sight of that,” Singleton added.
Singleton closed by saying, “Let us recommit ourselves today and every day thereafter. We will commit ourselves to make that brighter day, not more than just mere words or on a sheet of paper, but truly a reality for everyone who lives and breathe in this country.”
Here are some of the photos taken at the event, provided courtesy of Wanda Swanson and Jim Quinn of the Palmyra Riverton Juneteenth Celebration.
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